Cape Verde profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events

1456 - First Europeans arrive in Cape Verde.

1495 - Cape Verde becomes a Portuguese crown colony.

1956 - Amilcar Cabral, a native of Cape Verde, co-founds the African Party for Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC) in Guinea-Bissau.

1960 - PAIGC-led liberation war begins against Portuguese rule in Guinea-Bissau, with many Cape Verdeans joining in.


1975 - Cape Verde becomes independent and adopts constitution envisaging unity with Guinea-Bissau.

1980 - Cape Verde ditches plans for unity with Guinea-Bissau following coup in latter.

1981 - African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde (PAICV) replaces the PAIGC and becomes the country's sole party.

1991 - Antonio Mascarenhas Monteiro becomes president following Cape Verde's first free election.

1992 - A new constitution brings in a multi-party system.

1996 - Mascarenhas Monteiro is re-elected and his party, the Movement for Democracy, wins a majority of seats in parliamentary elections.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Pedro Pires became president in 2001

2001 January - Government accepts defeat in parliamentary elections, paving the way for the return to power of the former ruling African Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, the PAICV.

2001 March - Pedro Pires, from the Party for the Independence of Cape Verde, is elected president after beating his rival, the Movement for Democracy's Carlos Veiga, by 17 votes.

2006 January-February - Governing PAICV wins parliamentary elections and incumbent leader, Pedro Pires, is victorious in closely-contested presidential polls.

2006 June - Some 7,000 Nato troops take part in war games on Sao Vicente island. This is the organisation's first major deployment in Africa.

WTO membership

2007 December - World Trade Organization (WTO) council approves Cape Verde's accession to the organisation.

2009 August - US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ends seven-nation tour of Africa in Cape Verde.

2009 November - National emergency declared following outbreak of dengue fever.

2010 July - A Syrian prisoner who had been detained at Guantanamo Bay by the US is transferred to Cape Verde.

2010 October - UN office on drugs and crime, UNODC, launches a project for cooperation between Brazil and seven West African countries - including Cape Verde - to tackle drug trafficking.

2010 February - Governing PAICV party wins parliamentary elections.

2011 August - Jorge Carlos Fonseca becomes president.

2011 December - Two days of national mourning are declared on death of singer Cesaria Evora, considered to be one of the greatest exponents of Morna, a form of blues regarded as Cape Verde's national music.

2014 November/December - Biggest eruption in decades of Cape Verdean volcano Pico do Fogo destroys two villages, forcing 1,500 people to flee their homes.

2016 March - Movement for Democracy (MPD) wins parliamentary elections, leader Ulisses Correia e Silva becomes prime minister the following month.